Russia's largest steel maker to invest heavily in coal assets

Russia's largest steel maker, Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), would invest 300 million U.S. dollars in the development of its coal assets within the next three years, MMK chief Oleg Fedonin said Thursday.

The company planned to increase its coal self-supply by 30 percent by 2013, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

In June 2010, MMK acquired the Nikitskoye field in Siberia, which had coal reserves totalling 260 million tons, Fedonin said.

"We have found very few assets we really wanted to acquire, though we have examined a great number of offers," Fedonin said.

He also said MMK planned to finish the feasibility study of the Prioskolskoye iron ore field in central Russia in the first quarter of 2011.

MMK is expected to launch a direct reduction unit for its Turkish plant in line with the project.

According to the company's website, MMK last year produced 9,618,000 tons of crude steel and 8,764,000 tons of commercial products. It accounted for 17 percent of all steel products sold on the Russian market.

[Source: Reuters, Moscow, 15Jul10]

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